Oundle School’s ‘have a go days’ (HAGDs) have been running for more than 30 years and the latest saw 550 visitors from special needs clubs and schools taking part in various activities, including swimming, badminton, music percussion, basketball, archery, football, T-shirt design, indoor rowing, face painting and art.
Liz Dillarstone, head of community action at Oundle School, said: “HAGD is an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at new sports and activities in safe and familiar surroundings. It is lovely to see the faces of our guests light up at the prospect of sampling activities which many people take for granted. Their presence is like a breath of fresh air and our pupils are privileged to host them.”
Some visitors make a bee-line for their favourite activity as soon as they arrive. Football is always popular and the archery well supported. Others like to try their hand at music and other sporting activities.
One visitor said: “Thank you so much for Sunday. Bob had a lovely time trying out all the activities and despite his visual problems did very well with the sports. His great love though is music and he really loved his go on the drums. Please pass on our thanks to Dominique who kindly showed us around and all the other helpers at the different sports who were very patient and enthusiastic. Their enthusiasm definitely rubbed off on us all. It is lovely to be able to join in with something on our doorstep, thank you.”
Another visitor commented: “On behalf of Wellingborough Gateway club and Peaches Class Rowan Gate School I would to say a huge thank you to the staff and pupils for two really nice successful afternoons enjoyed by us all. The weather certainly was on our side and that helped. As always your pupils were very welcoming, polite and helpful to us and we all look forward to the next ones.”
Other feedback included: “Just a quick note to say thank you for having us today, we have had a lovely time at your beautiful school. We were well looked after by Charlie, what a nice lad. And a special thank you to Pak for being so patient with our daughter’s flower tattoo while she wriggled around. It is so nice for her to have different experiences like today, we are very grateful you are willing and able to put an event like this on.”
Headmaster Charles Bush commented: “Oundle pupils are most fortunate to host HAGD and enjoy giving something back to the community. Out of all the activities at school, this is one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding. It is highly motivational for teenagers to have the opportunity to entertain these visitors. We were delighted to host so many people and I hope they all had a wonderful time.”